BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — Local faith communities are looking to end gun violence for good.

People from multiple denominations gathered at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Bessemer to have an open conversation and pray over this problem that continues to plague the area’s streets.

Community members said they believe in the power prayer can have.

“We have to have a spirit of belief and trust in God, patience, and be obedient to him,” Gwendolyn Swain said. “He said, ‘Pray. Pray without ceasing.’”

Deacon Peter Smith said ending gun violence must first start with a change of heart.

“Evil comes from within,” Smith said. “When you have a change of heart and that heart is for good, then things outside of you change, and so this prayer service will help to change hearts.”

But it doesn’t stop there.

“We’re not here just to pray and leave it alone,” Smith said. “We’re here to inspire people to go out and do something about it.”

Religious education leaders told CBS 42 the key is providing a moral compass for youth.

“To make sure that our parental guidance is following Jesus’ guidance and that our lives imitate him, and if we walk in that light, then I am more than sure we can pray this gun violence away,” Edith Aguillard said, director of religious education at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.

Those leading the prayer service encourage the community to not give up, that there is hope and if people keep the faith, goodness will prevail.